Having joined Wolverhampton Wanderers’ youth setup back in 2018, Theo Corbeanu is a player who very quickly began to catch the eye at the Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground.
Indeed, after a rather quiet first season with Wolves U18s, scoring one goal and registering one assist over 14 Premier League U18 appearances in 2018/19, the versatile centre-forward really started to find his feet in the following campaign, bagging six goals and providing one assist over 17 fixtures for the U18 side, as well as making his first appearance for the U23s.
This form led to the Canada international being promoted to the U23 side on a permanent basis last season, during which the £900k-rated man scored seven goals and registered two assists over 21 Premier League 2 appearances, in addition to making his Premier League debut for the first team – coming on as a second-half substitute in a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in May.
Perhaps unsurprisingly considering his impressive rise through the Wolves youth ranks, the opinion of Corbeanu is extremely high at Molineux, particularly in the eyes of U23 head coach James Collins.
Speaking about the potential of the 19-year-old, Collins said: “He’s athletic, tall, can head it, can defend, can dribble past people and score, he can shoot, he can pass, he’s both footed, he’s got a bit of everything.”
The boss continued: “Theo can be anything he wants to be. He’s an outstanding prospect.”
This assessment of the youngster’s ability is sure to excite Wolves fans, as Collins’ description could also quite easily fit the club’s current first-choice centre-forward, Raul Jimenez – of whom Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan said: “For a striker, he is so mobile, but also physically so good and talented technically on the ball.”
However, despite his obvious promise, after being sent on loan to Sheffield Wednesday this summer, Corbeanu’s rise appears to have slowed somewhat, as the striker has so far made just four appearances for Darren Moore’s side – all of which have come from the bench.
Indeed, Tim Spiers recently stated in an article for The Athletic that, with both Lincoln City and Crewe Alexandra thought to have been interested in signing the forward this summer, should the 19-year-old still not be receiving regular game time at Hillsborough by the time January comes around, Wolves could well look to move the youngster to a new club for the second half of the season.
And, should Bruno Lage wish to give Corbeanu the best possible chance of going on to fulfil his undoubted potential, this would appear an extremely wise move. The 19-year-old certainly has the potential to not only become Jimenez’s long-term successor at Wolves, but he could also save Fosun millions of pounds in transfer fees as a result.